Back in April 2013 the Government introduced changes to housing benefit. Labour call it the bedroom tax and its basically where they work out how many bedrooms they think you need and if you have more they reduce your housing benefit accordingly. I rent privately and this has been in place for housing benefit claims on privately rented properties since 2008 and is called LHA . There are a few differences between LHA and the ‘bedroom tax’ now being applied to social housing claimants but I wont go into all that.
The idea behind the ‘bedroom tax’ was to get people to downsize to smaller accommodation when they no longer needed extra rooms. This would then free up the social housing properties with more rooms to those who they said needed it as they had larger families. All well and good and can see where they going with it. Problems arouse when they didnt do the maths on how many smaller places where actually out there. People cant move into something thats not there. They also had a very broad brush when they made the rules and didnt take into account complex situations like disabled claimants needing overnight care or people at risk who need specially equipped rooms.
A Court of Appeal has just declared the imposing of the ‘bedroom tax’ on two cases as discrimination against them unlawfully. The Government are of course going to appeal and this will probably go back and forth for awhile yet. But its a small triumph in showing the Government they are acting unfairly. Full story on the BBC